Review: CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Prepaid Visa

Review: CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Prepaid Visa

By |2018-12-30T13:28:52+00:00May 11th, 2018|Categories: Credit Cards, Reviews|Tags: , , |

Air Canada AC Conversion Card Introduction

I don’t like bank fees. Actually, I loathe bank fees. As a frequent traveler, I’m quite familiar with all of the extra costs associated with spending money in a foreign currency, with the dreaded foreign exchange fee at the top of my ‘most hated’ list. The foreign exchange fee (or FX fee), is a percentage added on to all purchases made in a foreign currency while abroad. While this fee varies among Canadian credit card issuers, it’s generally around 2.5%. This means for every $100 in foreign spend, you can expect to pay $2.50 in fees, just because. While this may not seem like a lot, these fees add up over time, and can take away money that should be spent on more travel! Enter the Air Canada AC Conversion Card Prepaid Visa!

Unlike other countries, Canada doesn’t actually have many credit cards that offer foreign spending without an added FX fee. One major bank recently launched a premium Visa with no FX fee, but this card has a hefty annual fee and a high income requirement to be approved, which may not be ideal for everyone.

CIBC Air Canada® AC conversion™ Visa* Prepaid Card

Are You Eligible For The Air Canada AC Conversion Card?

The Air Canada AC Conversion Card is a bit different. It’s free, and it’s prepaid, and doesn’t require a credit check for approval. In order to be eligible, you only need the following:

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada.
  • Have a Canadian address.
  • Be the age of majority in your province.
  • Limit one card order per customer.

What Currencies Can You Load On The Air Canada AC Conversion Card?

The Air Canada AC Conversion Card allows you to load 9 commonly used foreign currencies, which means you can lock-in an exchange rate when it’s favourable and not worry about a fluctuating market taking away some of your vacation funds. Current currencies available for pre-loading include:

  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • British Pound (GBP)
  • Mexican Pesos (MXN)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)

You must load a minimum of $100 Canadian equivalent when adding funds, and otherwise are subjected to the following limits:

Minimum load amount (single transaction) $100 CAD equivalent
Maximum load amount (single transaction) $2,999.99 CAD equivalent
Maximum balance $20,000 CAD equivalent
Daily (24-hour) maximum point of sale purchase limit $2,999.99 CAD equivalent
Daily (24-hour) maximum ATM withdrawal limit $2,000 CAD equivalent

Air Canada AC Conversion Card Fees

The primary reason many people will get this card is to save on FX fees, but should be aware there are some other fees associated with this product in various circumstances. Examples include:

  • Foreign spend in a country and you don’t have that currency preloaded on the card
  • If you make more than one ATM withdrawal per month while abroad
  • You lose your card and need a replacement

While these fees aren’t ideal, keep in mind they really only apply in odd scenarios. For everyday spend as a Visa card in a supported currency, there will be no fees levied, which is the big annoyance from most other travel reward credit cards. A full breakdown of potential fees include:

Fee Amount
Customization Free
Shipment by courier (optional) $15 CAD
Card replacement $25 CAD or equivalent
ATM withdrawals (within Canada) Free
ATM withdrawals (outside Canada). No fee will be charged for the first ATM withdrawal in each month. CAD 3.50
USD 2.95
EUR 2.50
GBP 1.95
MXN 49.95
HKD 21.95
AUD 3.95
JPY 349.95
TRY 7.95
CHF 2.95
Foreign Conversion: Transactions (debits and credits) in a currency other than a supported currency (“non-supported currencies”) are converted into Canadian dollars no later than the transaction posting date at an exchange rate that is 2.5% over the rate CIBC must pay. 2.5%

CIBC Air Canada® AC conversion™ Visa* Prepaid Card

Is The Air Canada AC Conversion Card Right For You?

This card MAY NOT be a great fit if:

  • You don’t travel regularly to countries with a supported currency (keep in mind you can still use it worldwide, but would be charged a small fee to spend in a different currency)
  • You already have a premium travel rewards credit card with no FX fee on foreign spend.

While I have a wallet full of travel reward cards, this is a product I would actually consider using in certain circumstances.

This card MAY BE great for you if:

  • You like the convenience of using a safe and secure Visa card with worldwide acceptance while travelling.
  • You travel regularly to any of the countries with a supported currency, and dislike paying foreign exchange fees when spending your hard earned money.
  • You travel on a budget, and want to load only what you can spend.
  • You don’t have sufficient income or credit history for a traditional premium travel rewards card.
  • You are able to load the card for upcoming travel when exchange rates are favourable, to get more out of your Canadian Dollars.
  • You appreciate 24/7 support and the ability to reload money anytime online or using an app.

Order your CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Prepaid Visa and avoid those pesky foreign exchange fees on your next trip!

What are your thoughts on the CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card? Let us know in the comment section below!

About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style.


  1. Geoffrey May 13, 2018 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Manufactured spending!!

    • Tyler Weatherup May 13, 2018 at 8:42 am - Reply

      Hey Geoffrey,

      You’re right – a lot of consumers use this card for manufactured spend opportunities, though that’s not something we blog about, as we don’t see the value considering the time commitment (more can be found through my post on manufactured spending here). We focus more on leveraging welcome bonuses and referral programs, as well as using the right cards for everyday spend.


  2. Peter M August 14, 2018 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Be care using TD Credit Cards to load funds. TD states CIBC using a Cash Advance transaction code and TD charges $3.50 fee plus interest. Both TD and CIBC state is it the other firm’s issue. There is no notice on the AC Conversion website.

    Be careful using any Credit Card.

  3. Terry Pattenden November 13, 2018 at 5:52 am - Reply

    The card worked well for me for almost three years. Now, for some reason, it was declined three times on, 11 November. I checked my account when I returned to the hotel and found that the transactions had gone though and the money deducted. Now the crap I have to go through to get the money back is a joke. I am afraid to use the card again.

    • Brittany Menard November 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Oh no! That doesn’t sound like fun at all. I’ve never heard of a card being declined but the transactions actually going through. Were they able to sort it out for you?

    • Terry Pattenden April 16, 2019 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      UPDATE: I did get the money refunded. I had to print out a form and email it to a third party that handles refunds. How many people bring a printer/scanner on their vacation? Luckily, I was able to borrow one.

  4. Susanne Fox April 16, 2019 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I have tried to sign up for this card several times. It was declined. I contacted my credit card company to tell them to allow the charge to go through. They had no record of the charge being denied. I even tried it while on the phone with them and it never registered at their end. Can you only use certain cards to do this? I used an MBNA which is affiliated with TD.

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